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Polanski speaks out

Extradition claim is based on a lie, director says

Breaking many months of silence, Roman Polanski has blasted Swiss and U.S. authorities over attempts to extradite him to face sentencing on child sex charges.

“I am not going to try to ask you to pity my lot in life,” Polanski said in a statement released Sunday. “I only ask to be treated fairly like anyone else.”

Polanski has been held in Switzerland since being arrested in September for possible extradition for sentencing in the case. The director, who pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful sexual intercourse, spent 42 days at a California state prison in Chino during a psychiatric evaluation, but fled the country on the eve of final sentencing by Judge Laurence J. Rittenband in 1978.

Swiss authorities haven’t decided whether to allow Polanski’s extradition. A state court judge ruled earlier this year that the director must return to be sentenced, and on April 22 a California appeals court denied his request to be sentenced in absentia.

“I can remain silent no longer, because the request for my extradition addressed to the Swiss authorities is founded on a lie,” Polanski said in the statement. “I can no longer remain silent because the United States continues to demand my extradition more to serve me on a platter to the media of the world than to pronounce a judgment concerning which an agreement was reached 33 years ago.”

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